Of all the US states, there are few that are quite like Florida, and even fewer that see the levels of tourism that the Sunshine State does each year. Tourists come to Florida for many reasons, here we see families seeking out adventure in Orlando’s many theme parks, couples looking to explore the flora and fauna of Everglades National Park, as well as tourists of all ages who come to explore the culturally diverse, super chic and very alluring city of Miami, the jewel in Florida’s crown. Miami is one of the most fascinating locations to explore in Florida, and the city which I’d recommend above the rest.
To really make the most of this vibrant metropolis, and to make sure that you can get to all of the points of interest with ease, a rel=noopener rel=”nofollow” Miami car rental is the obvious choice for transportation during your trip. Once you have elected your vehicle of choice, here are some of the best spots for you to drive to.
One of Miami’s finest cultural offerings is Little Havana, the Cuban District in Miami which gives tourists a glimpse into the Latin lifestyle of the locals here. Miami has always been a popular place for Cuban migrants to relocate to when arriving in the USA, bringing with them a great many aspects of their hometown culture. In Little Havana, especially throughout the main street Calle Ocho (8th street,) this is just what you will find, with latin music spilling out from the bars, the smells of freshly rolled cigars and the colorful murals depicting Cuban heroes which adorn the throughfare’s walls.
To get to Little Havana you simply need to follow the 95 Expressway going south, leaving on the 836 toll road which will take you straight into the district.
Just the name Coconut Grove conjures up wonderful, Caribbean-esque images of laying on a hammock in the shade of trees, enjoying an easy and stress-free lifestyle, truth be told the reality is not too dissimilar. This upscale neighborhood hugs the Bay of Biscayne just south of downtown Miami, and offers an altogether different side to the city thanks to its leafy streets and heavy green vegetation throughout the coastline. Here in ‘The Grove’ you will find many museums and old buildings to explore but it is the parks and open spaces where you will really find the charm of this hidden corner of the city. Expect to spend at least a day in Coconut Grove, discovering the quieter side of Miami.
After exploring the Cuban culture in Little Havana and the tranquil surroundings of Coconut Grove, next up on your list should be Miami Beach, the home of the rich and famous, the young and beautiful, the fun and free, not to mention the bougie and the posers, a real melting pot for sure. Miami Beach is only connected to the mainland by a number of bridges, which means glorious ocean on both sides of this barrier island. In South Beach is where you will find the trendy Art Deco Historic District, complete with pastel colored buildings which hark back to the 30s and 40s, many of which featuring bright neon signs and modern architectural twists. Ocean Drive is arguably the most famous street in Miami, a cool and swanky street with art-deco buildings, beautiful people, gorgeous sports cars, a stunning beach and the hottest place in the city for a night out. Ocean Drive can be found in-between North and South Beach, and it is certainly worth a visit.
Miami Beach is accessible from a number of bridges throughout the city, each leading to various parts of the island, it is also signposted from all over the city.
Everglades National Park
As aforementioned the Everglades National Park entices many tourists each year and during your time in Miami you can make the short road trip to the park, and explore what it has to offer. The drive from Miami to the Everglades will take no more than an hour before you hit this 1.5 million acre marshland, where you will be able to find a guide who can take you straight into the heart of this natural wonder. If you are short on time then take one of the airboats from the Everglades visitor center, which will give you a short tour of the marshes, ensuring that you have the chance to spot alligators and other wildlife such as the Florida panther and a wild array of local birds. The Sunshine State is a place of great natural diversity and nowhere is that more true than here in the Everglades.
For the quickest way to get to the Everglades, take the 95 Expressway and continue on as it merges with Highway 1, head right when you arrive at Florida City, which will take you onto the 9336, that heads straight to the National Park.
Bayside Market Place
This large outdoor mall is the perfect place to pick up some gifts and goodies to take home with you, plus you can even make a day of it thanks to plenty of bars and cafes, many of which offer live entertainment. The marketplace can be found on the coast, just north of Downtown Miami and despite its central location there is a very relaxing mood in the area. With over 150 shops and outlets to explore, plus the chance to jump on a water taxi and discover more of the Biscayne Bay, Bayside Market Place offers you a great place to spend a quieter day during your time in Miami.
Does a Miami road trip peak your interest? Which destination would you visit first? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below!